Second Shift: ‘I tried to leave New York once…’

As a program coordinator working in the mental health field, Latasha is on call 24/7. Credit: Courtesy of Latasha Woodson

We all know living in a big city is expensive. How does the average person make it work? Our new series features people working more than one job to make ends meet. If you want to be featured, email

This week, meet Latasha, who works in the mental health field and has a side job doing psychotherapy so she can advance her career.

Name: Latasha Woodson
Age: 32
Residency: Brooklyn, New York City
Lives: Alone
Number of jobs: 3

Explain your three jobs.

My primary job is as a program coordinator at Visiting Nurse Service of New York in the behavioral health department, where I oversee 32 social workers. The hours are 8:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., though I’m always on call. Then, at 4:30 p.m., I start my part-time job as a per diem social worker. I have a caseload of about 30 clients who I’m required to see twice. On Saturdays, I work my third job as a psychotherapist, from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.

So Sunday is your one day off a week? 

Usually, but sometimes I have to do a home visit for my part-time social work job on Sundays. But usually I’m off and that’s when I get to do some shopping, clean my apartment and get my errands done.

Do you like all three of your jobs equally or are there jobs you wish you didn’t have to work?

I’ve been working as a psychotherapist on Saturdays for about six years now, and I kind of wish I didn’t have to work that job since it’s on Saturday. Everybody else is going to brunch or they went out on Friday. I miss happy hours. I miss weekend getaways. But I have to keep that job so I can get to the next level in my career; I have to meet a certain number of hours. I’ll finally meet the requirement in July.

So it’s not really about the money. It’s about the certification.

Yes, but honestly, I doubt I’ll quit. Why would I pass up money that I’m able to put into my savings just to go spend money at brunch?

Where do you live? 

I have a one-bedroom apartment in Bushwick, which I pay $1,800 a month for.

Do you ever think about moving somewhere cheaper?

Like where? I’m born and raised in New York. I tried to go the cheaper route once and moved to Virginia. I had a great job at a boarding school and was renting a two-bedroom house for, like, $500 a month. I was able to buy a car. It was insane. But I just couldn’t do it. I was out there for 65 days and then I was ready to come back to New York.

Do you work multiple jobs to make ends meet or to live the lifestyle you want?

It’s definitely a lifestyle thing. Working in health care, I get a lot of time off, so I go on a lot of vacations. I totally believe YOLO and I totally believe work hard, play hard.

Follow Emily on Twitter: @EmLaurence


Egypt calls for Gaza ceasefire as fighting rages

Egypt called on Israel and the Palestinians on Saturday to halt fire and resume peace talks, but violence continued unabated.


SpaceX rocket terminated in Texas test flight

A Space Exploration Technologies’ Falcon 9 rocket suffered an anomaly shortly after launch on a test flight, triggering its automatic termination system.


MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…


U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…


Arcade Fire concert review, Massachusetts, Aug. 19

Arcade Fire take the opposite approach of "Shut up and play the hits," and it works in their favor on the "Reflektor" tour.


Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.


Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm


Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.


3 things we learned about the Giants in…

The Giants claimed the Snoopy trophy in a battle of MetLife Stadium tenants Friday night. But more importantly, the offense finally showed some life in…


3 things we learned about the Jets in…

The Jets lost the Snoopy Bowl, 35-24, to the Giants, losing the trophy and local bragging rights.


Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.


Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.


Asics is giving away free gear around NYC…

Asics wants to see you on the court - and in the stands for the U.S. Open, which begins Monday - by giving away free…


Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…


Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…


Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…